13 July 2021 | Bryony Parker

Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence.

What’s been in the news?

US DoE funds climate modelling

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced that $15.6 million of funding will go to researching the properties, formation and interaction between atmospheric clouds and the aerosols that form them, improving scientists’ understanding of weather and climate patterns. Due to the chemical reactions that occur between clouds and aerosols, they have a significant impact on the sunlight that reaches and leaves Earth and in turn, affect the Earth’s climate. The funds are  awarded as part of the Biden Administration’s plan to tackle climate change.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said ‘By putting some of America’s most talented researchers on the case, coupled with DoE’s unparalleled scientific capabilities, we’ll gain a better understanding of how this crisis is unfolding — paving the way for solutions that leave a safer, healthier world for our children and grandchildren.’

Read the full article on the US DoE website

Aerosol can being sprayed to make clouds in the blue sky

Gaining the upper hand with brilliant science

The UK Government has a launched a 10-year life sciences strategy for tackling some of the country’s biggest healthcare problems; including cancer and dementia. The UK Life Sciences Vision, which has been developed in collaboration with businesses and leading experts, uses the response to the covid-19 pandemic as a blueprint for accelerating the delivery of innovative treatments for patients. The Government said that the new strategy sets out to ensure that ‘scientific excellence, partnered with the dynamism of industry, is replicated to assist the NHS in solving the most pressing health challenges of our generation now and in the future.’

The Life Sciences Vision outlines seven critical healthcare missions that government, industry, the NHS, academia and medical research charities will work together on, at speed, to solve. These missions include: accelerating the pace of study into novel dementia treatments, sustaining the UK’s position in vaccine discovery, addressing the underlying biology of aging, and increasing the understanding of mental health conditions.

Supporting the Life Sciences Vision, the Government has set up a £200 million Life Sciences Investment Programme which it says will ‘unlock the potential of innovative UK life science companies so that they can grow their operations and create high-skilled jobs in the UK.’ The Life Sciences Investment Programme will have access to a scientific advisory panel comprised of leading industry figures and chaired by Professor Sir John Bell. The panel will share insight on key scientific trends.

More information on this topic:

Lady scientist looking through microscope

Digital regulation

The UK government has announced a new plan to make Britain a global leader in innovation-focused digital regulation. The Plan for Digital Regulation aims to allow businesses to develop new ideas and increase the number of jobs while harnessing the potential of digital technology. It sets out principles which will govern digital technologies and improve the regulatory landscape. The digital sector is one of the most dynamic industries in the UK, contributing £151 billion to the economy in 2019.

Policymakers must follow three guiding principles to be implemented. These include backing innovation by removing regulation and burdens such as technical standards, ensure regulation aligns with existing and planned regulation to provide a coherent outcome and consider international dynamics of the regulations at play.

Related links on the Government website:

Compliance theme with blurred city abstract lights background

Calls for evidence 

UK trade negotiations
Submissions are welcomed on UK trade negotiations with the EU including views on the objectives of the Department for International Trade for Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
Deadline: 31 December 2021

Net Zero Governance
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee has launched an inquiry to examine the leadership and co-ordination required by government to deliver net zero by 2050. Views on metrics for measuring progress and structures and models to implement are sought after.
Deadline: 27 August 2021

Further information can be found on the Parliament website

Funding competitions

Horizon Europe
The first funding calls under Horizon Europe launched through the European Research Council.

Advanced grants
Deadline: 31 August 2021

To find more on eligibility for Horizon Europe funding for your sector, view the national contact points and European Funding and Tenders. Further information on the UK’s association to Horizon Europe (PDF).

Further information on the SME and start-up fund.

National Space Technology Programme - Grants for Exploratory Ideas
Grants are available of up to £15,000 to UK companies for space-based technologies or research. Projects supported are to be 3-months long.
Deadline: 12 August 2021
Further information can be found on the Government website

Innovate UK SMART grants May 2021
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for viable R&D innovation projects. Grants are available for projects of 6 – 36 months.
Deadline: 25 August 2021

Biomedical catalyst 2021: early and late stage awards
UK registered organisations can apply for a grant of up to £18 million to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies, and processes. Projects must last between 12 and 36 months.
Deadline: 26 August 2021

ISCF smart sustainable plastic packaging: business-led R&D
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7 million for R&D projects, as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Grants available between £200,000 and £4 million and projects must last between 12 and 36 months.
Deadline: 8 September 2021

SBRI – Healthy Ageing Social Ventures industrial research
Organisations can apply for a share of £3 million inclusive of VAT to develop products and services to support healthy ageing. Projects must have total eligible project costs from £50,000 to £150,000 inclusive of VAT.
Deadline: 15 September 2021

You can find further details of the funding calls on the Government website

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